The Lede Blog on the New York Times published a post titled “Could There Be a One State Solution?” It was quickly taken off the New York Times homepage. I wrote the following comment in response.
The one state solution has been gaining credence among intellectuals and the general populations in Israel/Palestine (especially Palestinians) because the two-state solution looks increasingly impossible to implement. Dividing Jerusalem, dismantling Jewish settlements in the West Bank, establishing a Palestinian state bisected by Israel are all insurmountable obstacles to a two-state solution that immediately disappear in a one-state solution.
In a one-state solution reconciliation can truly begin and Jew and gentile Israeli, Muslim and Christian Palestinian, Arab, Mizrahi and Ashkenazi can all coexist. Jews don’t have to be evacuated from Hebron and other holy cities in the West Bank, Palestinians can live in Tel Aviv, Yaffa, or Nazareth. The Holy Land will finally retain its sacred status once more.
The presence of 300,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank and 200,000 others in East Jerusalem living in Jewish-only settlements, driving on Jewish-only roads makes the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem increasingly difficult. How the International community expects Israel to relocate 10% of Israel’s Jewish population back into Israel is not clear. Furthermore, it is unlikely that ideologically driven and fiercely religious settlers will opt to live in peace in the Palestinian state. Dividing Jerusalem into two cities is extremely painful for those who love the city whether Palestinian or Israeli.
Extremists on both sides will see their power sapped as soon as there is a resolution and peace on the horizon. According to some polls a majority of Palestinians and a substantial population of Israelis would support a binational state and this is before any public or educational campaign to inform and educate the respective publics of the advantages of a one state solution.
The state of Israel/Palestine could guarantee the rights of all its citizens and have a strong secular and democratic constitution that would be the envy and partner of the entire Middle East. The current round of violence has shown how the Palestinians’ dreams have been stifled by war and how Israel’s democracy has turned into Apartheid. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is only a century old which is comparatively short to South Africa’s and North Ireland’s centuries long fight for equality. Yet, today, both South Africa and Ireland are among the most prosperous and peaceful countries in the world.Filed Under apartheid, israel, occupation, palestine, sama, two-state solution